Librem 5 Smartphone Specs Firmed Up, But Now Delayed To Q3

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 21 February 2019 at 11:00 AM EST. 40 Comments
The Librem 5 Linux-powered smartphone originally planned to ship in January 2019 but last year was delayed to April to allow for more time to finish up work on the hardware and software. Today Purism is announcing that the Librem 5 is being delayed to "Q3" but they have been making progress particularly on the hardware side.

Due to the hardware still being worked on -- and only recently even being able to finalize on the NXP SoC they'll use -- they've had to put another delay in shipping the smartphone. They now hope to ship the Librem 5 phone in Q3'2019. Though it doesn't come as exactly a big surprise with the software stack being still rather immature and the Librem 5 developer kits only having started shipping in December. Even with the developer kits, the initial batch of boards it turns out there were display problems with the included panel. But at least now they have a few more months to work on the hardware/software and hopefully won't have to slip beyond Q3.

The good news is they have settled on using the NXP iMX8M Quad SoC for the Librem 5 rather than the (slower) MX8M Mini. Originally with the Quad model there were power consumption and thermal issues, but fortunately with a new software stack they have been able to overcome that issue.

This puts the Librem 5 hardware at:
Display : 5.5" - 5.7" HD display
Processor: iMX8M Quad CPU
Storage : 32 GB eMMC internal storage
Wireless : 802.11abgn 2.4 Ghz / 5Ghz + Bluetooth 4
Baseband : Gemalto PLS8 3G/4G modem w/ single sim on replaceable M.2 card
GPS : TESEO LIF3 multiconstellation GNSS receiver
Smartcard: yes for 2FF format smart cards
Speaker : at least one
External Storage: microSD storage expansion
Accelerometer: 9-axis IMU (gyro, accel, magnetometer)
Front Camera: specs not confirmed
Back Camera w/LED flash: specs not confirmed
Vibration motor: yes
Charging: USB C connector for charging, USB client function, USB host function, power delivery
Battery: User replaceable
Kill Switches: 3 - WiFi, Cellular, Microphone/Cameras

Missing from the list is the RAM. Originally they were talking about 3GB of RAM for this smartphone. This list was sent under embargo in advance and I inquired about the missing mention of system memory, but as of writing I have not heard back with any clarification.

The actual design of the phone has also yet to be finalized but is still under design.

Current pricing on this privacy-minded, Linux smartphone remains at $649 USD.

More details to come on the Purism Blog.
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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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